This past March I created and led a workshop at Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) titled The Orchid Forest: Connecting with our Queer & Trans Ancestors Through Plant Spirit Medicine where we gathered to learn about herbs & flower essences for queer embodiment, explore the spectrums of gender & sexual expression within our lineages, and practice intuitive skills to connect with the spirit of ancestral plants.
Orchids are some of the most beloved freaks of the forest. Orchids can be found in almost every habitat except for glaciers, with the richest diversity found in the tropics. Orchids are ancient, abundant, and they are not going away. Orchids are gaudy and don’t hide their otherworldly beauty. Orchids are sensually alive. Orchids’ expression is primal and vital. Orchids are avant garde without even trying. Orchids reflect back to us the wild mystery, beauty, and wonder that can be found within.
I felt inspired to honor the orchid powers I already witness in many queer communities, and now I feel inspired to share some of the information from the workshop with you all. An offering to all queer people. We deserve to feel safe and celebrated in our authentic expression. And we deserve to give hell to any law, system, politician, or whatever that threatens our right to live. May the plants be with you.
More than just prescriptive, plants aid our access to the ancient stories of our ancestors' expansive gender expressions. Plants show us how this beauty is still alive within us despite conditioning, and how we can weave nature’s wisdom into our dreams of queer futurity. The following is a list of herbs and flower essences for queer embodiment:
Maypop, Passiflora incarnata | A calming nervine herb for settling anxious symptoms, this fruiting vine acts as a gentle sedative for the nervous system bringing us back into our body. Equally calming is meditating into their magnificent flower, in my expert opinion lol. Maypop is integrated into the Songbird Moods formula.
Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea | A baneful home for fairies, work with Foxglove in cleansing, purifying, and protecting the heart center. The whole plant is highly poisonous so do not ingest. Take a flower essence to release toxic relationship patterns and savor how sovereign your kinships can be. You can find a foxglove flower essence here.
Mango, Mangifera indica | Beloved around the tropics, Mango is known to effortlessly spark sensual joy and contentment. Maybe it's the way it makes our skin glow, or maybe it’s the way it regulates our immune and digestive systems. Either way don’t let life go by without savoring many many mangos. Eat the sweet fruit and lick the pulpy juice as it trickles down your arm.
Rosemary, Salvia rosmarinus | A protective and aromatic herb, rosemary stimulates dream and memory retention. So much valuable wisdom lies just below the subconscious and in the dream realm. Take rosemary to bring awareness to the subtle trails of information that can empower and inspire our actions. Rosemary is integrated into the Weaving Minds formula.
Orchid, Orchidaceae | The priest of pleasure, Orchid has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate symptoms associated with the lungs, digestive, and reproductive organs. When taken as a flower essence Orchid activates our primal creative force and integrates the wisdom of our “lower” natures with our “higher” natures. You can find an orchid flower essence here.
Gone are the days of hiding. Like the mycelial roots of an ancient forest, let the song our true hearts call, harmonize into a symphony that vibrates the earth into a new portal. May we diligently examine the threads of fear and rigidity within ourselves that have created patterns of harm. May we meet each moment with compassion and curiosity. May we fight like hell to protect the living. The following is a summer solstice earth based ritual for queer embodiment:
- Gather some friends and head to a local waterfall, lake, or other body of water.
- Gather these bounties along the way:
~ Calendula Flowers
~ Ripe Berries
~ Local Honey or Mead
~ Fresh Bread
~ Fish Tails or Sea Shells
- Make a weird beautiful nonsensical fruit tart
- Eat it
- Offer honey to the waters
- Dive into the waters to cleanse yourself
- Enchantingly sing prayers for the new season
Cimarrón Files are Illuminated words of healing wisdom to resource our freedom dreaming paths. A living archive updated at the speed of joy.